Carolina Panthers

Delhomme's still part of the team

CHARLOTTE -- Though there's a bit of an unspoken code against it, injured Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme will be a fixture on the sidelines for most of the rest of the season.

He's staying home for today's game -- to make some preparations for next week's ligament reconstruction surgery on his right elbow -- but has promised he'll be with the team for most of the year.

Generally, when players go on injured reserve, they disappear. Teammates might not see them for weeks at a time, as they keep a different schedule.

There's also some superstition at work, as some players and coaches often don't want too many hurt guys around.

"Nobody tells you you're not part of it, but you personally don't want to get in the way," said left tackle Travelle Wharton, who blew out his knee in last year's opener.